• Titans Prevail 18U Div.

    May 25, 2015 - The NY Titans and Markham FCCM Shake Hands Post an Action Packed Boys 18U Championship Game.
  • Canton China to Montreal

    May 25, 2015 - Canton United, Men’s 45+ Basketball Team Travels From Canton China to Play.

    May 25, 2015 - Toronto CCYAA Captures Two Men’s Divisions Championships, 35+ & 45+.


Last year’s Men’s Elite format resulted in the stiffest competition in our 28 years, as the 16 team Elite field was easily the most talented collection of squads ever.  The Seattle Bladerunners barely clawed their way into the playoffs based on point differential with a 1-2 pool play record.  The Bladerunners then went on a tremendous run to earn their 4th NACBAIT Championship in 6 years, as they culminated their run with a 1 point win over Arizona Desert Jade in one the most heart pounding Championship matchups ever.  Meanwhile in the Men’s Open division, 10 teams went toe to toe as San Francisco CCU defeated the Montreal Kaitas in the Open Finals.  With 25 teams entering the fray in Ft. Lauderdale this year, the NACBAIT returns to the classic format of competition, giving everyone that chance of pulling a Cinderella upset somewhere along the line.  This year, your pool play draw on Friday night may really make or break your weekend.  Draw into a tough grouping, and you may be spending a lot more time at the beach than you thought you would (which really isn’t such a bad thing).

We begin with the 2008 Elite Champion Seattle Bladerunners.  They struggled through pool play last year and had started making plans for tours of the Liberty Bell, but they really hit their stride when it counted in the playoffs.  This year, nobody but nobody wants to play Seattle.  With 6-4 center Jim Shih (4-time MVP, NACBA Top 25), 6-9 Michael Kan and 6-7 wing Kyle Kiang (NACBA Top 25) headlining the roster, figuring out a way to guard their frontline will cause coaches to reach for the Excedrin.  They control the boards, dominate the paint, and alter shots everywhere.  And it’s not just the big guys you have to worry about, as guards Austin Yuen (Seattle Pacific, currently playing in Japan) and Wesley Hsu (Elon College, professional ball in Israel) are pretty darn good in their own right.  With versatile guys like Royce Yuen and Tim Wang coming off the bench, depth won’t be a problem either.  Barring anything outrageous, Seattle is a top pick to win it all again.  The team that Seattle defeated in the 2k8 Finals, Arizona Desert Jade, is also a pretty tough opponent.  With Sam Luong (2007 MVP), Dave Clarke, Steve Chang (2007, 2008 All-NACBAIT), Phil Heu Weller, and Bennett Woodward, these guys spread you out and attack the hoop from all angles.  There is no such thing as a slowdown game when Arizona steps on the court, as these guys might think there’s a 10 second shot clock.  Luong is an offensive machine who keeps coming at you all game long with deep shots and tough finishes.  Clarke provides steady buckets thanks to an awesome midrange game.  Chang’s an intense defensive stopper and drives to the hoop as well as anyone in the game.  Heu Weller can basically do it all at both ends.  Woodward can hit the threeball and is a perfect compliment to the above four due to his unselfish demeanor.  The Achilles heel for Arizona may be their lack of an inside presence, as the behemoth Hwang brothers will not be making the trip to Fort Lauderdale.

The NY RL Cruisers have reached the Semis for 2 straight years and will once again be led by the inside tandem of George Chan and Tony Hu.  In addition to these monsters, they have wide load Howie Chu coming off the bench to give them a breather.  With high scoring wingman Eddie Wang and the rock solid guard duet of Stan Yeung and Chris Liu, the rest of the crew is more than capable.  The RL game plan relies on clock management, not turning the ball over, and utter domination of the boards.  They may not be the flashiest team around, but the Cruisers are surely one of the most effective.  They don’t back down from anyone come game time and should reach the Final Four once again.  NY Maximum Output is one of the more talented teams in the field, as they also made it to Final Four Monday in Philly.  Recruiting players from all over the country, MO is a force to be reckoned with.  All-Tourney PG Nate Brown is a smooth ballhandler and a defensive stalwart, while 6-3 Alex Stewart provides spectacular play from the F slot.  With big men Jay Wu, Gavin Cook, and Jeremy Ko able to provide inside muscle, MaxOut stays competitive even when their outside shots aren’t falling.  The addition of 2004 MVP Oak Nguyen (NACBA Top 25) provides experience and high profile scoring ability at the guard slot.  The SF Duke (2005, 2006 Finalists) has been renamed the NorCal Hoopaholics due to a sponsorship change.  But while the name may be different, the players and the gameplan remain the same.  They ran out to a perfect record in Pool Play last year and earned an all-important first round bye, but then had the unfortunate matchup of facing Seattle in the Quarterfinals.  Had they not met up with a red hot Seattle team, the Duke would have likely danced their way into the Championship.  They have assembled the best available talent from the Bay Area and will be a tough draws for anyone.  Ross Lim, Ryan Dunn and Conlan Kwong score in bunches, while Dennis Yuen and Henry Hong take care of the big man stuff.  The key addition here is dynamic guard Brandon Lewis, who directed the Cali Davis Dynasty to the Consolation title last year.  His uptempo style should mesh perfectly with the Hoopaholics’ high energy transition game.  If that’s the case, then pencil in NorCal for a Monday appearance.  Another team who lost in the quarterfinals last year, the Toronto Dragons, is always a solid Monday candidate.  After battling through a tough pool, the Dragons bested the Philly Suns before dropping a heartbreaker to NY Max Out.  Old head C Denny Lee has showed no signs of allowing age to slow him down, while young bucks like Jordan Chiang, Kenny Ao and Andrew Suen provide the ability to defend the opposition’s quick perimeter players.  With their unselfish play and great interior passing, the Dragons are a battle hardened team that will give teams a big test.  This team is always in the hunt. 

The Chicago Dragons Wing Wor reached the Finals in Arizona 2007, and were the top ranked team following round robin play in 2008.  But as injuries started to take their toll and fatigue became a factor, they just didn’t have enough to advance back to Monday in 2008.  6-2 Damean Clinton (Wyoming) and Patrick Chin will do the job inside.  With Joe Carlini (Lake Forest) likely out this year due to injury, the backcourt of Tony Ling (Northwestern), Larry Li (DePaul) and Andrew Tsai (MIT) will need to carry the Dragons.  Without Carlini, this may be a tough weekend for the Dragons.  The Boston Hurricanes AAU have reached 2 Final Fours in the past 5 years, and took it all in 2004, so this group of guys won’t be getting jitters.  Then again, the Canes are only a couple years removed from an 0-4 Arizona nightmare, so who knows.  6-4 leapfrogger Ricky Chan (All-NACBAIT) and undersized Little Hercules Shi Mei man the post positions with hardnosed play and big game experience.  Complimentary Guards Kevin Woo and Mike Yih are an experienced pairing, and Johnson Lam is a well rounded player at the three.  If they find their offensive rhythm early, they will be a tough out.  But if they don’t get it going, they might end up with plenty of time for fun in the sun.  Washington CYC A has been on the cusp of greatness (five Final Fours in ten years) for quite a few years but has never been able to win that elusive Championship.  They clearly took a step in the wrong direction last year as they couldn’t close out games when it counted.  This year only a handful of players will return, as DC has revamped the roster and focused on improving their interior play.  Jeffrey Lee (New Haven, 5 consecutive All-NACBA selections), Chris Lee (Rutgers, NACBA Top 25), and Bobby Hsieh return to handle the rock adeptly, and Keith Wang (Gettysburg) has NBA range on his jumper.  This team will still be able to run and gun with the best of them, and the additions of Darren Jiang, Hank Huang, and Huy Nguyen could pay major dividends.  If you factor in the return of 2002 Alpine MVP Daniel Liu (UCSD), then what you have is a deep team with an abundance of playoff experience.  This may be a team that could surprise someone if everything falls into place.  Harry Leong’s Philly Suns A reached the playoffs last year for the first time in over 10 years, and hope to build on that momentum.  Rip Hamilton playalike G Richmond Huynh (2009 Pre NACBAIT All-Tourney) is the man to watch here.  Andrew Young is a terrific team guy.  But the loss of a couple key players and a severe lack of depth will hurt the Suns in 2009. 

NY USAB Gold (2007 Champions) suffered through a nasty 2008, finishing 1-3 and getting waxed by the Cruisers in the First Round of the playoffs, as everyone was gunning for the Champs.  But they look much improved this year as the strategy has changed with the times.  They captured this year’s Pre-NACBAIT handily, as their solid defense made it tough for anyone to get open looks.  It all starts with point Nick Mui (Staten Island), the fastest player in the tournament.  He can beat his man at will on offense and on defense he picks opponents clean.  His speed allows for guys like Justin Kao, Zachary Liu, and Menley Khuu (2008 Juniors MVP) to get free for open looks in transition or behind the arc.  Big men Brandon Chock (2009 Pre-NACBAIT MVP), 6-7 Eli Strauss, and 6-4 Mike Pan are a tough bunch down low, with the ability to check anyone.  Consider USAB a contender.  California Davis Dynasty captured the Elite Consolation last year, but the loss of G Brandon Lewis is going to have a dramatic impact as he was a difference maker with his ability to get to the hole and handle the ball under pressure.  This year, they’ll rely on All-NACBAIT selection Yitao Sun to carry the load at both ends.  The Dynasty has their work cut out for them.  The NY Rockits AIA also finished in the Consolation division in 2008.  With Kevin Low (NYU, NACBA Top 25) sitting it out this year, Ricky Vien and Kevin Chin (Cooper Union’s all time leading scorer) will be counted on to fill some major shoes in the post.  The guard corps will suffer from the loss of Kenny Yu (Rutgers-Camden), who has decided to drink margaritas in the Friendship division this year.  But Chris Chin (Baruch), Brian Wong (Monmouth), Jarvis Miu (City College), and Ming Wang are good enough to compensate.  The talent is there for this team and they can hang with anyone, but the question is going to be how much the roster changes will impact them.  The Boston Knights A will once again rely on 6-10 Michael Dong and 6-4 Joe Brush to run the two man game.  If another dude can step up to give the Knights a legitimate 3rd option, then the Knights could contend till Monday.  The Texas Ballistics are excited to have James Mao back in action.  He and superstrong center Norman Wang provide an outstanding 1-2 punch, while Ronald Lim is a do it all 3rd wheel swingman.  Don’t sleep on Texas, as their 3 Final Fours since 2002 show what they are capable of when they’re rolling.

The expansion of the Open Elite field will allow for other teams to get in the mix.  The NY Crossbearers reached the Open Semis last year, and will look for long forward James Li and smooth scoring Michael Chan to get them some W’s. The NY Rockits U will be coached this year by Patrick Lee, who is sitting the year out due to injury.  Josh Pena and Ian Yu can score points, and if Lee can keep his players motivated to get stops on defense then the U could pull off some serious upsets.  This team gets it done against bigger, stronger teams due to toughness and heart, so don’t be surprised if they make the playoffs.  Also be sure to ask star actor Tony Mui about his role in the Wendy’s Threeconomics commercials, as well as his appearance in the Notorious movie earlier this year.  Don’t be shocked if his acting expertise translates into a couple charging calls, as the Rockits U perennially lead the tourney in the category.  NY United East has shown an extraordinary amount of improvement since last year, as Feng Wu’s boys have made big strides in their team play.  They have the ingredients necessary for success, with Owen Wang & Kauk Chin distributing the ball and Jason Yee & Leighton Kuet doing the dirty work under the hoop. UE could ruin someone’s weekend if they play their cards right.  

The Toronto Titans will once again have the largest man in the tournament as 6-9 James Chen is as big as a house.  Tony Ho will provide some help on the perimeter, but the big news here is that Acer Huang has joined the Titans after years of toiling in anonymity with the Blazers.  Acer’s offense and ability to create should give Toronto a fighting chance against anyone. The Toronto Kagers have picked up athletic 6-7 forward Carlos Andrade from the crosstown Titans.  His addition immediately makes the Kagers a team who should reach the playoffs and possibly advance.  Eric Liao can fill up the scoresheet and PF Hoi Yeung (2006 All-NACBA) provides interior defense.  6-3 Powder Palmer is a high rising, shot swatting force at the center position.  This is a team who will make some noise.  Markham FCCM will have Tommy Cheong back, and should have Darren and Daniel Liu ready to play the backcourt.  With 6-4 dunkbeast Ken Hsiung joining the team from the Montreal Kaitas, FCCM now has some street cred.  They step up from the Friendship, looking to earn themselves a reputation.  They have been playing well in local leagues, so let’s see if their progress continues in Florida.

The Toronto Dragons B have a team of interchangeable parts that can cause matchup problems all over the court, led by defensive stopper Matthew Lum.  With a nice trail mix of athleticism and court savvy, the Dragons B will make it tough for whoever they face.  Washington CYC B has the guards to match up with any of the elite level teams.  With Chinese smurfs Kevin Lee, Martin Hsieh and Caleb Lui controlling the ball, teams will not be able to take the ball away.  Ricky Choi and Henry Chow can get hot at any time.  This team will challenge backcourts everywhere.  If they figure out a way to grab some rebounds, then CYC B can make it a game.  Don’t get into a run & gun shootout with this team.  SF Dream League makes an appearance this year, their first since 2003.  This is a squad who will push the basketball up the court at every opportunity.  With plenty of West Coast style tourney experience, Dream League won’t be an easy out.  NY FBNYC Quicks will also run and shoot, with Justin Chin (2008 All NACBA), Wilson Lew, and Ren Hsieh all willing to pull the trigger as needed.